Boston Society of Civil Engineers Honors Dedicated Corps Employee
Karen Adams discusses the Corps of Engineers regulatory permitting process at a Cape Wind public hearing on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Dec. 6, 2004. Adams was recognized by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers with the Government Civil Engineer Award for 2013 at the 165th annual awards dinner on September 23. Adams is presently the chief of the Regulatory and Permitting Division's Massachusetts Permits and Enforcement Branch, which manages the Corps of Engineers' evaluation of all wetland and waterway permits within Massachusetts.

Karen K. Adams, Regulatory Division, has been a dedicated civil engineer for the New England District throughout the past 35 years. Recently, her work as an effective liaison with the private sector was recognized by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers with the prestigious Government Civil Engineer Award for 2013.

Adams received her award at the 165th Annual Awards Dinner on Sept. 23, at the EMC Club in Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. She was nominated by Technical Group and Institute Chapter Co-Chair Brian Caufield, P.E. This is Adams' first time receiving the honor.

The 2013 BSCES Government Civil Engineer Award is presented to a BSCES member who is serving as a paid public sector engineer at a federal, state, or municipal agency/authority in Massachusetts.

This award was being presented in recognition of Adams' years of dedication to the Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI, Boston Chapter) and her service to the public as the Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Permits and Enforcement Branch.

Caufield's nomination states, "On behalf of COPRI -- Boston Chapter, we submitted Karen K. Adams, A.M., ASCE, for Government Civil Engineer Award. Karen has been active within the Executive Leadership group of COPRI (formerly Waterways Technical Group) for more than 10 years. She has participated in and helped organize many successful Technical Group events. As the Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Mass., Permits and Enforcement Branch; she has been able to engage unique clients to present their material to the Technical Group. Karen is without question one of most professional, knowledgeable, and rational regulators."

To Adams, though, the award is a welcome surprise. "I'm very pleased to know that my efforts are being appreciated," she said.

Adams has been with the Corps since 1978. Prior to joining the District, she served as the first Chair of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers' Younger Member Committee and was a founding member of the Northeastern University Civil Engineering Alumni Organization. Later, she became the Senior Project Manager for the initial permits for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority's Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Facilities. Adams is presently the Chief of the Mass., Permits and Enforcement Branch, managing the Corps of Engineers' evaluation of all wetland and waterway permits within Massachusetts. Major projects have included the in-water components of the Big Dig, the MBTA crossing of Fort Point Channel, MBTA's Greenbush line, MASSHighways' Route 3 widening and Route 44 realignment, and the Dredged Material Management Plans being developed by the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Office.

Adams has also coordinated the development of the Corps of Engineers Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the wind energy-generating project proposed by the Cape Wind Associates in Nantucket Sound.
According to Adams, her proudest accomplishment as the Chief of the Permits and Enforcement Branch was "finally issuing the permit for the Cape Wind Project."

Adams credits her successful career to the mentoring that she received as a co-op student at the Corps of Engineers. "A bunch of the old-timers were very much involved with the professional societies at that time and really encouraged that involvement, and I picked up on that," she said.

The Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers is a professional organization that focuses on the professional growth of its members, nurtures future engineers, and advances engineering knowledge. Their mission is to serve as an advocate, trusted advisor, and steward for public safety in the built environment, investment in sustainable infrastructure, and protection of our natural resources.

The BSCES was established in 1848, making it the oldest engineering society in the United States. The organization supports over 4,000 members, students and professionals in the civil engineering and construction industries throughout Massachusetts.

Page last updated Thu October 3rd, 2013 at 00:00